Asia Pacific remains vulnerable to malware

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Emerging markets in Asia Pacific, including the Philippines, remained particularly vulnerable to malware, technology firm Microsoft said.

In its latest Security Intelligence Report (SIR), Microsoft tagged Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam as the top five counties exposed to malicious programs in the first quarter of 2017.

“The report found that approximately one in four computers in Bangladesh, Cambodia and Indonesia running Microsoft real-time security products in these countries reported a malware encounter. Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Nepal and Thailand each reported an average malware encounter rate of more than 20 percent,” Microsoft said.

The Philippines, which was ranked 8th, had a malware encounter rate of 19.2 percent duriing the period.


The Philippines was said to have posted above-average exposure to drive-by download sites or websites that “host one or more exploits that target vulnerabilities in web browser and browser add-ons.”

“It also has ransomware encounter rates of 0.08 percent-0.12 percent,” the report noted.

Antony Cook, associate general counsel at Microsoft Asia Pacific, Japan & Australia, said “we will not … be able to remain safe and reach our full potential in this ever-connected world without also understanding the cybersecurity threat environment and building our awareness around the growth in cybercrime.”

The Microsoft report used telemetry data via a system used to detect malware and threats directed at Windows devices.

“Microsoft learns about the most prevalent threats on both global and per country bases, and use this to proactively enhance its security products and services to address those threats,” the firm said.

The report covered more than 100 individual markets for this version, and tracked down cyberspace threats such as software vulnerabilities, exploits, malware and web-based attacks.

Other Asia Pacific countries in the list of most vulnerable to malware were Nepal and Thailand, sixth and seventh, respectively; and Sri Lanka and Malaysia in ninth and tenth spots, respectively.

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